Chapter Thirty: Bigger Circle:

Lenard stood off to the side with his drink. He tried to make himself smile.

“You okay?” he heard next to him. Lenard whipped his head. Tai stood behind him, grinning. Lenard. Tai stood behind him, grinning. Lenard blinked at first.

“Oh, yeah. Yeah,” he said nodding. Tai patted him on the back.

“It’s okay,” he said. “You’re doing good. You’re getting out and socializing.” Lenard tried to make himself smile. Hotaru looked up from across the room. She smiled when she spotted Lenard and Tai. It didn’t take long for her to make her way over to the pair.

“I don’t think we’ve met outside of our little game earlier,” she said. Hotaru bowed gracefully.

“Hotaru,” she said. “And you are?” The men didn’t speak at first. Hotaru watched them as she waited.

“Tai,” Tai said. Lenard lowered his eyes.

“Lenard,” he mumbled. Tai patted him on the back.

“It’s okay, don’t mind him,” he said. “He’s not much of a social person.”

“Ah, I see,” Hotaru said. Lenard wouldn’t look up at her.

“So,” the loli demon said. “Tell me about yourselves. What are your stories?” Lenard turned to his roommate.

“We came from New York,” Tai said.

“Oh?” Hotaru said. “Where in New York?”

“Hell’s Kitchen,” he said. “We needed a change of pace.” Lenard didn’t say anything with Tai’s arm around his shoulders. Hotaru looked at the shyer man.

“How do you like Japan?” she asked.

“Fine,” Lenard mumbled. “Our apartment is smaller.”

“Yeah,” the loli demon said. “We work better with smaller spaces.” She chuckled at her own commentary. Lenard gave her an odd looked. He turned to Tai.

“You know,” Hotaru said. “I could give you a tour around the better places around Tokyo. Some not so small.”

“Really?” Tai asked.

“Uh-huh,” Hotaru said. She leaned in closer to the boys. “Some of the LGBT places are hidden around Tokyo.” She gave them a little wink. Tai and Lenard looked at each other.


Mike looked at the front again.

“Give up already!” someone yelled. Mike turned his head. Kazue sat in her chair watching him.

“What do you know?” he asked.

“She’s not coming,” Kazue said. Mike frowned.

“You can’t say a thing,” he said. “You have a boyfriend!”

“He’s not my boyfriend!” Kazue shouted. Mike looked around.

“Where is he by the way?” he asked.

“Bathroom,” she said. Kazue rolled her eyes. “Why do you care if she shows or not?” Mike glared at her.

“You wouldn’t understand,” he muttered.

“Hm?” she asked. Mike rolled his eyes.

“Nothing,” he lied. The American man flipped her off as he disappeared into the kitchen. Kazue didn’t even blink.

“Okay then…” she muttered. Kazue turned her head as she heard footsteps walking back to her chair.